This eye opening book written by two brilliant academics in the field of banking and finance has two important messages. First the good news: There is a straightforward solution to fixing the apparent deficiencies of banking systems, namely by having banks increase the share of equity finance to say 20 to 30 per cent. A higher equity ratio will by itself function as a buffer in times of trouble. But even more important, it will prevent banks from gambling with other people's (depositor and consequently tax payer) money. The book reveals that the typical banker argument that equity is "too expensive"; and higher equity requirements will increase credit costs is non-sense. Equity only appears expensive because debt is subsidized by tax payer backed deposit insurance and bailout schemes. The bad news: We cannot hope that the simple solution will be implemented as law makers seem to listen more to behind the scene operating banking lobbyists than to arguments brought forward in public hearings. I hesitate to give the fifth star because the sometimes lengthy expositions let the reader easily loose sight of the central argument.